Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning

Flame Bearers: Keeping the Fire Burning spotlights women Olympians and Paralympians who sought to compete in the Tokyo Summer or Beijing Winter Olympi…
Oct 21st, 2020 | 30:49

Katarina Roxon (Canada): Swimming & Body Positivity

Katarina grew up on the island of Newfoundland, so at an early age, her parents, Leonard and Lisa thought that it was important she learn to swim. 20 years later, Roxon brought home her first medal, a gold in the 100-m breaststroke in Canadian record time during the 2016 Paralympics. This episode dives into Katarina's family dynamic including her relationship with her father (who is also her coach), her decision to compete for Team Canada instead of Team India, and her commitment to living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Experts interviewed include Katarina's father and coach, Leonard Roxon, mother, Lisa Roxon, sister, Miranda Roxon, Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO, Karen O'Neill, and yoga instructor and activist, Seane Corn. Audio clips from: 'How to Get the PERFECT BODY' YouTube video, Allure's 'Girls Ages 6-18 Talk About Body Image YouTube video, How Seane Corne Leads with Love YouTube video, and Yoga Journal's 'Behind the Scenes with Seane Corn'.
On this episode of Flame Bearers podcast, host Jamie Mittelman, shares the story of Katarina Roxon. A three time Canadian paralympic swimmer, Katarina is equal parts loyalty and determination. While it’s not always common for an athlete to receive the support of a parent, growing up, Katarina not only received unwavering family support, but she also received personalized training and coaching from her parents. Her father, Leonard Roxon, with a background as a physiotherapist, was able to zero in and analyze Katarina’s form and work to better develop her technique. From a young age, both Katarina’s mother and father knew Katarina was destined for greatness but her journey was not without its obstacles. As she worked to strengthen her skills and build her career, Katarina endured repeated disqualifications and her father faced skepticism from fellow coaches about how far Katarina could go. But with fierce ambition and a strong sense of family connection, Katarina has gone on to build a successful career as a gold medalist swimmer. A loyal Canadian, when confronted with the choice to consider swimming on behalf of another country, Katarina felt that her commitment to Canada as her home outweighed any increased financial incentive offered by other countries. Along with loyalty and determination, Katarina also uses her platform to promote self-acceptance. As a child, Katarina’s mother Lisa, says there was nothing her daughter wouldn’t try. Originally from India, Lisa explains that traditionally, a child with a disability was seen to be at a disadvantage, but Katarina’s parents were determined to break that cycle and never deterred her from pursuing anything that she wanted to do. Katarina uses her voice to share this mindset with others teaching that disability and disadvantage are not synonymous. Over the years, it has led her to reconsider the language used around disability and now promotes the term, “exceptionalities” which she describes as seeing the ability in disability. Katarina acknowledges that having a disability is one part of her person, but emphasizes that it is not the whole of her identity. In a culture where it’s easy to feel pressure to conform to societal beauty standards, Katarina believes that health should be well-rounded. This message is reinforced with excerpts from internationally acclaimed yoga instructor and activist, Seane Corn. For Katarina, it’s about feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially fulfilled and maintaining a healthy and balanced sense of self. Links: Learn more about Katarina Roxon by visiting her Paralympic profile. Connect with Katarina on Instagram , Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Learn more about Seane Corn by visiting her website. Connect with Seane on Instagram and Twitter. Learn more about the Flame Bearers podcast.